Atelophobia. The fear of imperfection.

It sucks, doesn’t it? Feeling like you’re not good enough. I’ve been there.  Hell, I am there! Sometimes, it’s so hard to believe in yourself and stop letting fear get in the way. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel so you end up becoming your own obstacle. However, what if we stopped worrying about being perfect, and started focusing on our strengths? What if we stopped doubting how we can go, and started remembering how far we have come?

Just over twelve years ago, I found out I was pregnant. I had no idea what to do, or what to expect. I had every fear in the world & every reason to believe I couldn’t do the motherhood thing, but I knew I had to figure it out. Of course I was provided the option of adoption. As a matter of fact, I even had a random co-worker at the time ask me if I would let her have my baby because she just knew there was no way an 18 year old girl could possibly be a good mother. That was the first time I had to take a leap of faith and be courageous. I had to believe in myself because I knew no one else was going to. I had to be strong, and I had to be a good mother. Failure wasn’t an option, and whether or not I believed I was a good mother every day – I had to do my best to be one anyway. Although I still don’t think I deserve a “mother of the year” award, I think I have done alright. My son is so loved and I know he never has to doubt that.  🙂 

Almost seven years ago, I started dating my (now) husband. However, this didn’t come easy for me. In the months leading up to our first date, I had been working on something similar to a 12 step program. It wasn’t for drugs or alcohol, but self care. I was working on myself, and learning to be independent from a relationship. I had previously been in a relationship that was anything but butterflies and rainbows and I was spending my time healing and moving forward with my life. I spent a lot of time writing, using work books, reading the book Language of Letting Go, and finding things online that made me feel less alone. I remember reading one website about “love addicts” and although not all of it applied to me, some of it totally made me feel like someone out there understood me. The jist of it was to be hopeful about future relationships, let go of the past, being able to end a relationship if your basic needs weren’t being met, not to do things for others that they should be doing for themselves, and loving yourself as much as you love others. By the time Kristopher & I started talking, I was in a much better place mentally and emotionally but I still wasn’t exactly the most confident woman in the world so it was a big deal for me to reach out. If you didn’t already know this, I was the one who pursued him! Let me just tell you, that took a lot for someone who only months prior would never have dreamed of going after someone she thought was “out of her league”. I am so glad I sent that Facebook message though, because here we are all these years later, happily married. 🙂

Roughly eight months ago, I took a risk. I had been working for a company for over eleven years, and I finally got the courage to take a leap of faith and apply for a position with another organization. I had thought about it before but I always let my fear & self doubt get the best of me. I would stop myself from exploring another opportunity because I was worried I wouldn’t be as good at a different job. What if I can’t make the same great name for myself somewhere else? What if I can’t learn a new industry fast enough? What if, what if, what if! I had a million “what if’s” circling my mind. As I started to work on my resume, it was like a light bulb went off. I looked at the resume in front of me and it was almost surreal to see all of these experiences and skills listed, and realize they were MY accomplishments. No way. Little ol’ me did ALL of THAT?! Wow. I sat down to make some finishing touches and checked my email. I found five incredible reference letters from previous mangers and co workers. I was in shock. First of all, I couldn’t believe the support, kind words, and time they had put in to do this for me. Second of all, I was so impressed by the things I was reading. They not only had nice things to say, but referenced specific examples of things I had accomplished. It was by far one of the most incredible feelings I have ever experienced. Those days where I wondered if anyone knew how much effort I put in – vanished. Clearly, my hard work hadn’t got unnoticed. At that point, I knew there was no turning back. I had shared my plan, and I had so much support surrounding me – I had to go for it. I sat back and thought to myself “you’ve got this!”. I let the self doubt fade away, and assured myself – I can do this and there is nothing to be afraid of – and guess what? There wasn’t. Everything worked out just fine, and I have been running a new department for the past seven months that has brought me a whole new set of challenges, experiences, and joy. I have been able to develop skills I didn’t even know I was capable of doing while continuing to strengthen the skill set I walked in with. 🙂

Six days ago, I shared this website with my Facebook friends. Since then I have had roughly 250 people visit my page with close to 900 views. As I have mentioned in other blogs, I never imagined anyone would be interested in something I have to say. I have been overwhelmed with love and support this past week and am so glad my husband pushed me to share what he calls “my talent” with all of you. 🙂

My point in these stories is, I know what it feels like to not feel good enough. To be afraid you’re best isn’t going to cut it, or you’re not going to succeed. I know what it’s like to let fear get in your way but taking the “small” leaps like the ones I mentioned above has shown me that fear is a waste of energy. Wasting my time being afraid is simply that – wasting my time. I encourage you to let go of your fears and believe in yourself. You may be amazed at the things you are capable of.

Rejection sucks for everyone but if you can believe in what you have to offer the world – then don’t stop offering it simply because some of those you offer it to – reject it. So many people are simply not very good at recognizing talent or value but that doesn’t mean you won’t find someone or something that will.  If you need a little bit of encouragement – keep these little fun facts in mind:

  • Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got financing for creating Disneyland.
  • JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before Harry Potter was accepted.
  • Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4, didn’t read until he was 7, but he went on to become the face of modern physics.
  • Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 different publishers.

Being confident isn’t something that comes easy to most people, and that’s okay. Just don’t let it stop you in your tracks. My son had come home from summer camp last year talking about books that were read aloud to them. I was so intrigued by the stories behind them, & even though they were intended for a younger crowd, we bought them for our home. One of them was called Rosie Revere Engineer. It was about a little girl named Rosie (obviously, haha ;)) who is working on an invention to fly but it ends up crashing. Rosie is sad and deems her invention a failure but her Aunt Rose explains the contraption was a success and that you only truly fail, if you quit. I think we can all learn a thing or two from Rosie’s Aunt. 🙂

This world is amazing and we are going to forget that over and over, again and again, our entire lives. BUT! if we remember more than we forget, we are going to be just fine. The strongest factor for success is truly self esteem. It’s not who you are that will hold you back, it’s who you think you are not that will do that. So, I leave you with this. Believe you can do it, believe you deserve it, and believe you will get it. <3

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